A's Look To Avoid Sweep

Oakland starter Dan Haren pitched well enough in the first half of the season to earn a start in the All-Star game. The Athletics are hoping that he's carried that momentum into the second half. 

Haren looks to help the A's avoid a four-game sweep and shake their longest losing streak of the season when the teams wrap up their series on Sunday at the Metrodome.

The Athletics (44-47) dropped their last three games of the first half and their first three of the second for their longest losing streak since a seven-game slide May 20-26, 2006. They lost 4-3 to the Twins (48-43) on Saturday, falling a season-worst three games under .500.

Oakland hasn't been swept in four games in Minnesota since July 17-20, 2003.

Oddsmakers have made Oakland -125 money line favorites (MLB Odds) for todays game, the over/under has been set at 8 total runs (Matchup). Our public betting information shows that 87% of bets for this game have been placed on Oakland -125 (View MLB Bet Percentages).

"Tomorrow's a new day. You don't know what is going to happen," center fielder Mark Kotsay told Oakland's official team Web site. "When you are in a funk, (Haren) can turn things around."

Haren (10-3, 2.30 ERA) owns the best ERA in the AL and had won 10 straight decisions before taking a 7-1 loss against Seattle in his last outing of the first half on July 6. The loss was the first since April 7 for Haren, who gave up four runs in 6 1-3 innings.

He got the start in Tuesday's All-Star game and gave up one run in two innings.

"It was an unbelievable experience, (but) I had the jitters all day," Haren said.

Haren has allowed three runs in each of his last five starts after giving up that many in three of his first 14, raising his ERA from 1.58. Still, the A's feel good about their chances with him on the mound.

"When Dan's on the mound, you don't need as many runs to win," manager Bob Geren told Oakland's site.

Haren is 2-2 with a 2.50 ERA in five career starts against the Twins and did not allow a run in 14 innings in his last two starts against them last season.

Along with a strong start from their ace, the A's are also hoping for a better day at the plate. They have scored three or fewer runs in nine straight games for the first time since Sept. 10-17, 1978, and are batting just .155 during their losing streak.

"It's frustrating, it really is," said Nick Swisher, who is hitting just 1-for-10 in this series. "But sometimes these things happen."

The Twins, meanwhile, have scored 15 runs in the series while their starters have given up only five runs in 19 2-3 innings. Carlos Silva allowed three runs in 6 2-3 innings to earn Saturday's win.

"We're just trying to plug away," manager Ron Gardenhire told the Twins' site. "The guys were screaming in the dugout, 'You know, we win the ballgame, we win the series.' Now we have the chance to take it a step further and get off to a super start in the second half."

Boof Bonser (5-6, 4.70) will try to give Minnesota another solid start in the finale. He lost his last three starts and final four decisions in the first half but went a career high-tying seven innings in his final outing before the break on July 7, giving up three runs in a 3-1 loss to the Chicago White Sox.

"Boof's come a long way," catcher Mike Redmond told the Twins' site. "Today was a great effort."

Bonser's only previous start against the A's came on June 1 last season, when he allowed four runs in seven innings of a 4-0 loss in Oakland.

by: Dave Michaels - thespread.com – Email Us

More MLB Baseball coverage from theSpread.com

 - MLB news wire
 - Current MLB Injuries
 - 2007 MLB standings
 - 2007 MLB schedule
 - 2007 MLB Umpire sheet
 - 2007 MLB stats
 - MLB scoreboard
 - Expert MLB picks
 - Accuscore predictions
 - Comments and discussion
 - Signup for theSpread.com daily newsletter
 - MLB home


MLB Top Stories

Thumbnail Red Sox shoot for another win over Royals With its stalwart second baseman leading the way, Boston broke out of an ill-timed funk last night. What will Dustin Pedroia do for...
Thumbnail Dodgers' Seager continues to victimize Cubs   The Dodgers’ Corey Seager is one of the hottest players in the majors right now. But does a wily veteran hold the key to slowing down the 22-year-old...
Thumbnail Braves vs. Giants Prediction Can the under cash once more for bettors when the Braves visit the Giants at 4:05PM ET this afternoon?
Thumbnail A's have opportunity to steal series from Cards Oakland’s 13-21 mark vs. lefty starters is the worst in the American League. Still, the sheer unpredictability of Jaime Garcia gives Bob Melvin’s...
Thumbnail Mariners vs. White Sox Prediction Will the Mariners at least earn a split against the White Sox with a win today at 2:10PM ET in Chicago?
More inMLB Articles  
Advertisement

MLB Headlines

More inMLB News  

MLB Team Pages